September 11, 2018

We have received several inquiries related to the Husky Energy refinery incident on April 26, 2018. The Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve and Douglas County Extension staff convened a community listening session on May 14th to gather community questions and concerns. The outcomes from that meeting were compiled in a report that is publicly available as a reference for agencies, governing bodies, or any others interested in learning more about the community’s perspectives and concerns regarding the refinery incident. Given recent inquiries, we wanted to clarify that the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve currently has no formal role in responding to the refinery incident and is focused on our broad mission of improving the understanding of Lake Superior’s coast and estuaries through the integration of research, education, outreach, and stewardship.

It is important to note that the State of Wisconsin leads the government response to this incident. The City of Superior and Douglas County have officially stood down their engagement, as is customary for municipalities and counties in the timeline of response to such incidents. There remain multiple sources of information for the public. These include:

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (which supports the staff of Douglas County Health Department) has identified Disa Patel and Rob Thiboldeaux as points of contact. They can be reached at Robert.Thiboldeaux@dhs.wisconsin.gov and Disa.Patel@dhs.wisconsin.gov. For Douglas County Health Department, the points of contact are Kathy Ronchi and Lindsey Krumrie at Kathy.Ronchi@douglascountywi.org and Lindsey.Krumrie@douglascountywi.org.

Some fact sheets and references that might be of interest:

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources also remains as a source of information. The points of contact for WI DNR are Connie Antonuk (for questions from the public) and Jim Dick (for media questions) at Connie.Antonuk@wisconsin.gov and James.Dick@wisconsin.gov. To report spills, please use the Spills Hotline at 1-800-943-0003.

The US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board produced a video graphic explaining the fire.

The US EPA in Chicago, which served during the incident response as federal lead, has some resources and references available on their websites.

Contact:

Erika Washburn, PhD, Reserve Manager
Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve
14 Marina Drive, Superior WI 54480
(715) 399-4085
erika.washburn@ces.uwex.edu